Bold Statements with Pikkdogs. Volume #2.

by Pikkdogs ~ March 23rd, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with an opinion article for you.  I didn’t really have many ideas on what article to write for today, so I decided we should do another opinion article.  Before we start the bold statements, let’s introduce my extra dimensionary sidekick, Pedro.  How’s Pedro doing?

Doing well. 

What news have you today for us?

Well, in entertainment news Michael Bay has announced that he is making a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but he is making them aliens.  Which is weird because they are called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which means they should be mutated adolescent kung-foo users, not aliens.  Do you like the TMNT?

Sure,  used to watch the cartoon series growing up, and I used to have the good Super Nintendo videogame.  I agree with you Pedro, the turtles shouldn’t be aliens.  To me, they are an extension of the awesomeness that was New York City in the 1980’s.  You had lots of crime and pizza, so to stop the crime and eat the pizza you needed the turtles and a large rat.  They also behaved like Teens, which made them part human, and making them aliens would take away from that.

You seem to have a strong feeling about this.

Well, I do.  TMNT was also a lot about humanity, it just wasn’t about turtles eating pizza.  They had some culture in the program.  Even the fact that they are named after renaissance artists speaks to their connection to humanity.

And I thought it was just about eating pizza and chasing after cute tv newswomen. 

No, that’s what my life is like.

Ah, I see. 

Bold Statement #1- Lv. X’s were a better game mechanic than EXs (ex’s) or Primes.

We have had a lot of Ultra Rare mechanics in the last  several years.  The first was the ex mechanic, which had a long life.  This were just like normal cards, but they had more a few more HPs, and they could attack a little better.  The drawback was that if they got knocked out, your opponent took 2 prizes.  Than with Diamond and Pearl came the Level X mechanic.  Lv. X cards were cards that you put onto your active Pokemon of the same name.  You could then use the attacks of both cards.  But, you would have to use the HP, weakness, resistance, and retreat cost of the Lv. X.  After about a dozen sets with Lv. X’s, we made a change to Pokemon Primes.  Pokemon Primes were kind of like the old exs, but they did not need an extra prize on knockout.  They also didn’t have Prime in their names, meaning there was no real difference between Primes and other cards of the same name, just the rarity.  After only a few Prime sets, we shifted back to exs, but called them “EXs” instead.  These EXs had more HP than the former exs did, and hit just a little harder.

After all of those changes, I think that the best ultra rares were the Lv. Xs.  I believe this for two major reasons.  The first is that leveling up provided the perfect balance of draw backs and advantages.  The second reason is that the Level X mechanic kept prices down,

The Level X mechanic was great because it gave us a great system of advantages and disadvantages.  The advantages were that we could get Pokemon with more HP, better Poke-Powers, and better attacks.  These are similar to what we get with the EXs, exs, and the Primes.  But, the drawbacks to Lv. Xs I think are much better than the drawbacks to the others.  Instead of having to lose two prizes instead of 1, which never made any sense and made things balanced, it was a little harder to setup a Lv. X.  The Pokemon had to be active to get a Lv. X, which made it harder to get out.  And the fact that you had to put the Lv. X on a regular Pokemon was another drawback.  It not only made you run at least 1 extra card, but it made your setup slower.  These drawbacks made the game more balanced, the EXs now don’t have these drawbacks, and the game is a little more unbalanced because of it.

The other thing that was great about the Lv.X mechanic was that it helped keep prices down.  Mewtwo EX is about as sought after today, as Flygon Lv. X was three years ago.  They both had a similar price ($50-$70), but Flygon Lv. X forced you to build a much cheaper deck than Mewtwo EX does today.  This is because you almost always only ran 1 Lv. X in your deck.  If it was a stage 2, you would normaly run a 4-2-3-1 line.  Even if it was a basic, you still normally ran a 2-1 or 3-1, depending on the Pokemon.  Sure, sometimes you did run 2 Lv.X’s, but that is still cheaper than the 3 Mewtwo EXs that are standard in a CMT deck today.  In fact, a CMT deck normally consists of 3-4 Celebi Primes and 3 Mewtwo EXs, that is 6 or 7 Ultra Rare cards.  If Mewtwo EX’s attacks were on a Lv. X card instead, you would probably run a 2-1, 3-1, or 2-2 line.  You  would also run the same amount of Celebis, if “Forrest Breath” was on a Lv. X.  That means you would be between 2 and 4 Ultra Rares, instead of 6 to 7.  That would make the deck much cheaper and make it accessible to more people.

That is why I love the Level X’s, I think they gave us a slower and more balanced format than we have right now.  Even though things did get out of hand once they introduced the SP Lv. X’s, I think that I will blame it more on the SP mechanic more than the Lv. X mechanic.  The one thing I didn’t like about Lv. Xs were that it was harder to have a bench sitting Lv. X than it is to have a bench sitting Prime or EX.  However, this now rarely comes up because the only bench sitting prime or EX that I know of is Slowking Prime, and we all know how good that card is.

Bold Statement #2- The Current Shiny Mechanic is the Best.

There have been a couple different systems of Shiny or Secret Rare Pokemon in the past coule years.  I think that our current system, of having reprints is the best.  I think they are really cool to play with, and are challenging to collect.  Under our old systems of shinies and secret rares, the “cool to play with” factor rarely came up.  Now it does, and it gives you a way to show off your collection.

In the Diamond and Pearl era, the secret rares were Shinies of basic Pokemon like Yanma and Duskull.  Duskull saw a little play when Dusknoir DP was played, but for the most part, nobody cared about these cards.  They were only valued at a couple bucks each.

This trend was continued in the Platinum era, but they did also change the secret rares a little.  In the Rising Rivals set they released Rotoms as secret rares.  These Pokemon could be used to make their own deck, but the deck was never anything more than expensive.  The same was for the Arceus cards that came out in the Arceus set.

I think that now we have the best system of secret rares.  The Diamond and Pearl method of giving us secret rares of basics that nobody likes wasn’t that fun.  And, although Rotom and Arceus decks were cool, they were never a great deck.

I really like when we can actually use the secret rares in decks we are playing.  It also covers the weakness of secret rares, because nobody has to play with Secret Rares because they are all reprints.  But, a lot of people do want to use the SRs because they have really cool art. That is what Secret Rares should be.  They should be really cool looking.  They should be hard to collect.  And, they should be playable.  The only SR model that has been used in the past couple years that covers all of those three areas is the current one.

Bold Statement #3- Spring Regionals will be all about the Rogues.

We will be playing in a similar format for Spring Regionals that we did for States. Coming into States we didn’t really know what was going to be played.  Just a couple weeks before it started, people were still creating decks like CMT and Zekrom.  Now that we have a solid format that people can plan for, Regionals should be all about rogue decks.

It was  very hard making rogue decks for States because rogue decks usually are made to go against meta decks, and since meta decks were so new, it was hard to counter them.  Now that we have had a whole states season to find out what the meta is, we now have about a month to counter these decks.  In fact, it is already happening.  People are starting to work with cards like Cofagrius, Chandelure ND, and Vanilluxe ND to make rogue decks.

I predict that Spring Regionals will be all about the rogue decks.  Now I won’t turn my back on CMT, I know that it is the BDIF and it will win most regionals.  I also know that Zekrom and Durant are also good and will see a ton of play.  But, all the story lines will be about the rogues.  Compared to the beginning of the season, our format has a ton of cards.  That means a lot of new combinations that people haven’t tried before.  We should be seeing a lot of different combos that go outside of our normal box of thinking.  If you think of it, we are really only talking about 3-5 decks doing well right now, come Regionals we should see the format getting broken open.  Just like the Truth opened up the format during Worlds, we should see rogue decks taking over soon during Spring Regionals.

Bold Statement #4- Comic/Card Shops are the Worst Place for a Pokemon Tournament.

I can’t say that I have been at Pokemon Tournaments all the world, but I have been at tournaments all around the Great Lakes Region, and I think that my experience shows that card shops are generally the worst place for tournaments.

I first started out playing Pokemon in Minnesota.  Almost all tournaments in the Minneapolis region are at card shops.  Generally, I found that card shops in that area were very nice and fairly spacious.  Of course, you also get the advantage of having a store that sells things like dice, sleeves, and snacks.  But, upon starting to play in Michigan and Ohio, I realized that card shops in that area are terrible for tournaments.

While Minnesota card shops were big enough for tournaments, shops in Ohio were very small, and that seems to be the trend.  Even though you do get the convenience of a store by a tournament, card shops are for the most part much to small to handle a Pokemon tournament with the current player base.  There is just no where to move, and getting to your table is very hard to do.  The whole tournament becomes one hot and sweaty encumbrance, and the game is no longer fun.

Most Michigan tournaments are held in places like Hotel conference rooms.  These rooms are usually much bigger than card shops, and are designed to handle hundreds of people.  We almost never have to turn people away, and there is plenty of room to spread out and relax.  The inconvenience of not having a store on site, is more than made up for by all the space and comfy furniture.  This is more important today because tournaments are getting bigger and longer.

I think that this is a very important topic for the game today.  I do not think that the game can grow if tournaments are being held in shabby places that are not attractive to new players.  Tournaments should be fun places to be where you can talk with friends, not a place where you can recreate what happens in a sardine can.  It is important that the game be allowed enough space to grow, and card shops do not have that space.  I can admit that not all card shops are small like this. I have heard of a large shop in Florida that works well, and of course the shops in Minnesota still work well, but it seems like card shops are too small for Pokemon tournaments over all.  Tournament Organizers should think about moving away from card shops, and instead moving to municipal or commercial buildings.


Well, that’s all I got.  Feel free to share your thoughts.  If you like Primes, card shops, basic secret rares and meta decks at Spring Regionals; please let us know in the comment section.  So Pedro, what do you got for us to close the article?

Well, today the whole world is going cockahoop for the new movie, “The Hunger Games.”  Pikkdogs, you are a librarian and you like to read, do ya like the Hunger Games?

Never read it.  I’m a fat guy, why would I want to hear about a place where there is no food?

I’m sorry I forgot.

I would much rather lay in my bed clutching my Big Mac.

And by “Big Mac” you mean?

My penis.

Okay, we should just end the article, good night everybody. 

Category: Bold Statements with Pikkdogs, Opinion | Tags: